Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were booed at a Billy Joel concert on Thursday night. The political family attended the show in New York City, where Joel gave them a shoutout by name. This turned out to be unwise, judging by the crowd's reaction.
"I dedicate this next song to my good friends who are here tonight, Bill and Hillary Clinton," Joel said, in a clip published by Fox News.
At first, the reaction was mingled cheers and claps, showing that the audience had at least some Clinton supporters in it. However, as the crowd digested what Joel had said, a rising tide of boos joined the applause. They went on for just a few seconds while Joel prepared to play his song.
The show took place at Madison Square Garden, where a line of screens was mounted above the band. The video showed the Clintons on that screen, smiling briefly as Joel shouted them out. They did not react to the torrent of boos that followed.
Of course, the Clintons have been a controversial force in American politics for decades, so it should come as no surprise that their invocation raised eyebrows. Bill was impeached during his presidency for marital infidelity, although he still finished his term without being convicted. Meanwhile, Hillary's bid for the office against President Donald Trump was one of the most contentious presidential elections in generations.
Even after losing the election, Hillary Clinton remained a figure of controversy. The president has brought her up repeatedly throughout his time in office, wondering how she might have handled the issues he has been faced with and reminding his followers of his unlikely chances early on in the race.
Recently, all eyes have been back on President Bill Clinton as fresh allegations of sexual misconduct hit close to home. Clinton was known to have a working relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted on charges of sex trafficking on Monday, and many are questioning everyone who has had ties with him.
A spokesperson for President Clinton told Fox News that he had no knowledge of Epstein's crimes when they worked together. President Clinton took "a total of four trips" with Epstein in 2002 and 2003, and the spokesperson said nothing illicit was ever discussed.
"In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation," their statement read.